Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Reusable RFID tags

Actually the story is not about new RFID tags that can be reused, but rather the realisation that existing tags can be used for multiple trips.

The Reusable Packaging Association sponsored a study based on a year-long and widely-supported industry field test of RFID technology on reusable containers. It concluded that RFID tags designed for single use could be used for multiple trips without any deterioration in performance, if positioned correctly on reusable containers.

“By combining RFID technology with reusable containers, industries gain the ability to better track their product and their containers as they move through the supply chain,” said Bob Klimko, Chairman of the RPA Board and Director of Marketing for ORBIS Corporation. “This will result in a stronger return on investment on the containers, as well as provide opportunities for improved supply chain management through analysis of the data provided.”

Whilst reusable packaging provides benefits to the user and the environment it also poses some challenges, including managing and locating the packaging. The packaging often costs more and needs to be reused to optimise the investment. This use of RFID provides a means to cost-effectively track and trace these reusable assets, providing an accelerated return on investment.

So you need fewer RFID tags and it makes managing reusable packaging more cost-effective. Sounds like a win-win all round, particularly as RFID is already set to grow significantly in the coming years. There might be a problem at the product level, though, since the EU requires tags to be removed at the point of sale for privacy reasons.

© The Green IT Review

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